New keeper set to be unveiled

THE final piece in the jigsaw should fit into place today when Blues boss Joe Royle unveils his new keeper, writes Derek Davis.The name of the goalie is being kept under wraps until the announcement in order to thwart any other club trying to sabotage the deal.

THE final piece in the jigsaw should fit into place today when Blues boss Joe Royle unveils his new keeper, writes Derek Davis.

The name of the goalie is being kept under wraps until the announcement in order to thwart any other club trying to sabotage the deal.

The player is a well-known Englishman coming from a club outside the Premiership and is expected to sign a permanent deal.

Royle is hoping to meet with the stopper today to finalise details and get the contract signed.

The manager said last night: “We will release the name when the time is right and everything has been sorted out.”

Should everything go according to plan, Town will pitch the new keeper straight into Saturday's friendly at Layer Road against Colchester United.

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Lewis Price will be on the bench despite a flawless showing in Trelleborg on Tuesday night.

Andy Marshall continues to be left in the cold while James Pullen is with Dagenham & Redbridge on a short trial.

The new signing will be Royle's third of the close season following Drissa Diallo and Georges Santos, who have already made a strong impression.

Meanwhile, West Bromwich Albion will have to dig deeper if they are to tempt Ipswich to sell Thomas Gaardsoe.

The Baggies made a 'derisory offer' for the Dane earlier in the week and have found Town unwilling sellers. Since coming out of administration and trimming the wage bill quite considerably the Blues are not in such a vulnerable position and can afford to be tougher in negotiations.

The Albion chairman Jeremy Pearce admitted the two clubs were a long way from reaching any sort of agreement while the Blues boss is in no hurry to sell Gaardsoe, who faces a month out of action due to an ankle injury picked up at Southend.

Pearce said: “At the moment we are some way apart in terms of price.

“Thomas is one of several targets for that position we have under consideration.”

Royle said: “While we are in no position not to listen to sensible bids for our players there is no way we are going to accept derisory offers for anyone.”

While neither club have disclosed the initial offer, sources from the Midlands who first broke the story are speculating it was £800,000.

The players have been given today off to rest after their week-long trip to Scandinavia, having returned with three wins from three and bagged 15 goals in the process.

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